Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Growing pains

I started this blog last month. I Was using the name Aero (Short for Aeromancer) Only amuirin started calling me Rao. That's fine it's the other name I commonly use as well. Both are back from when I played Everquest and I some times use one when I should have used the other and vise versa. Now I'm not all that happy with Blogger. Some things you have to get third party aps to increase it's functionality. So Since I've tried Blogger for a month I decided to try Wordpress for a month. I've also gone with a different name there. Something maybe a little more appropriate to what catches my attention and makes me want to write. So I hope you all bear with me during this.

With that I give you The Age of Geek

I'm still adding this and that. I haven't worked with Wordpress before so it may take me a bit to get use to it but that is part of the fun too. I have to figure out why 2 posts didn't transfer over and why Muppets only had a title and no body.


I like pie.
Just about any pie will do.
Apple pie, pear pie, strawberry rhubarb pie,
made with grandma's recipe and fresh from the oven.
Blackberry pie, with fresh blackberries you just picked and the perfect crust, firm yet flaky.
Lets not forget Chicken Pot Pie, nor any Pot pie for that matter.
Home made pies, restaurant pies, or store bought pies.
The 2 for $1 pie pockets at McDonalds are tasty treats as well.
What about cheese cake. It's not really a cake.
Served cold, warm, or piping hot. Don't for get the ice cream.

Insomnia is mine enemy still.
This is what you get when my sleep deprived mind decides to post after being up for 24 hours.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rick Emerson Radio, The Age of Geek

I have not listened regularly to music radio in years. I was tired of listening to the same songs over and over again. Personal music players and Personal Computer storage has advanced enough that I can put 500 songs on a device that is just a little bigger than a US quarter, clips to my shirt and doesn't skip. So why would I want to listen to the same thing day after day, interspersed with lame commercials about divorce attorneys, cheap cars and credit services? I wouldn't. That's where old tapes and talk radio come into the picture.

In the mornings on the way to work I would listen to Mark and Brian or occasionally tune in to Stern. When we moved back to Oregon in 99 I found the Rick Emerson Show, at the time the show was nationally syndicated. At one point the show was canceled but came back on air in Portland in 2001.

In 2005 the show was again canceled by Entercom. There was a gap from 12-3pm. It wasn't just a radio show because a lot of us had a weird emotional attachment to the show. The fans bonded by the show were having none of it. Arron Duran, of Geek in the City, along with Joni DeRouchie came up with the Coffee Cup Crusade. Asking listeners to vent their anger with E-mails to Entercom's sponsors and Coffee cups sent/dropped off at Entercom's offices. (Arron actually has a great blog about in on his site. Coffee Cup Crusade.

Well It worked. CBS Radio heard of the fans devotion and responded by hiring The Rick Emerson Show. This was the best show ever. Pop culture, Local Portland personalities, the Hot Producer, relatable host, and charming yet enigmatic newsman. Emerson's style, interest in all things geek and the ability to derail any topic with anecdotal musings.... March 13 2006 people cried, t-shirts were made, and the show reappeared on the dial this time on 970am.

What draws us to this show. There are no wacky, contrived personalities. Rick, Sarah, Tim, Richie and guests all seem to be as true to life as possible.
PortlandLfe nailed it with this opening to their article: "Geeks tune in to their time"
Listeners calling in to Rick Emerson’s radio show recently were given an unusual choice if they wanted to win a pair of concert tickets. They could either identify one of the band’s songs after listening to a few notes, or answer a question about the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

Caller after caller misidentified the song until, finally, one listener chose the D & D question.

Emerson asked, “What dice are required to play first-edition Dungeons & Dragons?”
“Four-sided, six-sided, eight-sided, 10-sided, 12-sided and 20-sided,” the caller answered without hesitation. “Although you actually need two 10-sided dice to play properly.”

Emerson, laughing, was impressed: “Why am I not surprised that one of our listeners would know that?”

On December 8th 2008 Tim Riley, the shows straight man, news anchor, and yen to Emerson's rants, interruptions and questions was let go. Mr. Riley's departure from the show was saddening, but CBS allowed the show to actually have a "Goodbye" day. (very uncommon in the radio industry) Rick, Sarah and Tim described the situation siting financial reasons. Fans were able to call in to state their admiration and to say goodbye. The station went so far as NOT to delete every iota of web content. (Bravo CBS/KCMJ)

You listen for hours a day, (even if it's in the background) to someone for years. People who make you laugh, think, suggest a good book or movie. People you E-mail with news nuggets, ideas, questions and answers. It's difficult to let them go. Luckily it wasn't the whole show being canceled again. Mr Riley actually has a news blog that he is writing to daily. He is missed but not forgotten by many of his fans, including me.

The show goes on. Instead of the Laid-Off Mr. Riley, the show asks other laid off news personalities to come in and do the news hour for one day. These personalities responded with an almost unanimous "yes!" Other local personalities brought a new perspective to the show People like; former screen editor of Willamette Week David Walker,review author Dawn Taylor, former KWJJ news director Chuck Knopf, and former editor of PDX magazine and more recently the editor of LivePDX Liz Hummer. You will find it hard to find anything on these folks as for some reason radio and news organizations find it necessary to sanitize info, pics, screen callers, and forget anyone no longer associated with their organization.

The Rick Emerson Show (also acronym'ed as RES.) also does watches. Usually during the news hour. Usually with a theme song put together by staff or fans. Some celebs or even groups could have there own watch. Confused? Just look at a partial list, you will get it.

Clergy Watch - clergy doing bad things.
Penis Watch - injury to the male genitalia
Cannibal Watch - Self explanatory.
Corpse Watch -grave robbing, defiling, and sometimes - "grave buggery".
Snuff Watch - celebrity deaths.
Hick Watch - hardworking rural folks doing strange things.
The Jock Watch - Funny sport stories.

Specific persons have had their own watches. Britney, Bush, Whitney, Tanya Harding and Saddam. There are many more not listed yet are still a part of the core programing. Usually being advertising at the beginning of each show to let listeners know they have a story coming up in "log watch". Yes stories involving logs that usually cause injury. (Both Rick and Sarah are fearful of log trucks)

There are many regular guests on the show. Most are Portland area bloggers, radio personalities, A few are nationally know. Mr Skin comes to mind.

CNN correspondents call into the show to discuss current events, each with there own theme, usually chosen by Rick. Most seem to enjoy calling in and the Portland audience. Sometimes showing up at Listener parties.

During the shows various runs there have been 12 listener parties. Occasionally maxing out the venue and drinking ever drop of alcohol (the venue was warned). It's a place to meet fellow fans, local celebs, bands and guest speakers. Happening infrequently but they try for once a year, on a Thursday. Thursdays so fans can call into the show and rave about the fun had by all to Emerson, who is usually horse and hungover.

Listeners have taken snippets of the show and made YouTube videos. Oscillating Fan and White Wheat Sourdough English Muffin Bagel.

Emerson occasionally goes into controlled rants. You can usually find these on the YouTube as well. I even threw a few together so as to have a visual to some great radio moments. What a Geek Believes.
and 8-8-08 The first pretty much tells everything in the title. The second is more an address to the world. Emerson asked fans to have everyone tune in and listen even if they were not normally a listener. Delivery truck drivers stopped there rigs, opened the doors and cranked up the volume. Other fans put their radios in the windows of their homes, hooked radios up to the company PA system or broke tuning knobs off other radios after tuning in.

If any of this has peaked your interest and you live near enough to Portland you can listen in on 970am If not you can Listen live Or even listen to or download the RES pod casts An alternate source is the Tegianzone Not updated often but each day is condensed into one file and the size is reduced by about 75%. I spent a lot of time in Iraq listening to these pod casts. Getting them the day after they aired caught me up on local news and gave me a few chuckles. I even used MySpace to comment occasionally on the show. In someways this kept me sane. Oh I would have found something else to do the same but I prefer the RES.

Best Show Ever

Superbowl Ads

My one word response to some of the ads during this years Superbowl. Why only one word? I could tear them apart and write 3 paragraphs on why I liked or disliked each, but that is only my opinion. Your favorites maybe totally different than mine. If you haven't seen them head over to Hulu to review or refresh your memory. Anyways on to the the list.

The Elec Baldwin Hulu ad.... Refreshing

Budweiser: Clydesdales Stick.... Waiting Heeere's Money.... Sad

Star Trek: Trailer.... Anticipating!

Coke Classic: Avatar....

Universal Studio Parks: Inner Hero....
Cute Tips.... Laughing

Angels and Demons: Trailer.... Hmmmm

Transformers 2: Trailer.... Chills

Doritos: Crystal Ball.... Grinning

Pedigree: Crazy Pets.... LOL

NBC: Heroes Football.... Jumping Enhanced.... Lame

Coke: Heist.... Happens

Sobe: Lizard Lake 2D.... WTF?

Confused? The word may not have the same meaning to me as it would to you. Like the H&R Block, Death one. I probably would put down cliche, but that would only be part of it. Yes it's cliche but still quite good, even humorous. What about the Cheetos add. I would have used guessed, but that doesn't tell you if I laughed or even liked it.

Some were better than last years some were worse. The 3 million Dollar tag for 30 seconds is a bit much. Look at the economy. Hell how many of these companies have lad off people recently. I know Bridgestone has, and are planning on laying off more in the near future. 190ish Just in December. I know that's not a lot, but the 3 mill could have easily paid there wages. I do enjoy the ads during the Superbowl but at what price should the marketing department of these companies say no?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jonathan Coulton

I totally missed the fact that Jonathan Coulton was playing in Portland this last weekend which bummed me out. So I was rummaging through my portable hard drive music folder and I realize that I can't find my Jonathan Coulton folder. I don't know if I accidentally moved, instead of copied, it last time I threw it on my Mp3 player. Now I'm really bummed because you can't just download all of his stuff from his site anymore.

If you Don't know Who Jonathan Coulton is, he did a little project back in 2005-2006 called "Thing a Week". This is where Coulton created 52 musical projects. One each week. Posted on the Internet, updated weekly and made free to download. His idea was to push himself by producing A different project each week, adopting a "forced-march" approach for himself. While also proving to himself he could do it. He also was testing the Internet to see if he could support himself financially.

One of these songs was Code Monkey. A semi autobiographical song about being a computer programmer. Here is one of the YouTube recordings of one of his shows. Yes he does believe in and uses Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license, others can use his songs for non-commercial ventures.

This song went on to become the Theme Song for G4's animated show Code Monkey. Coulton has other songs that have made it main stream. Valve had Coulton write a song for the ending credits of the video game Portal. This song is a huge hit. Sung by Ellen McLain as the GLaDOS character. GLaDOS is the computer AI in the game and McLain was able to emulate or even mimic a computerized voice wile singing the song producing a pretty cool effect. (Could you imagine if they did this with Hal? "I'm still alive Dave." Talk about creepy)

You can also find Coulton singing it here. The song is full of in game references instead of just being a standard song thrown on during the credits. In fact "Still Alive" also made it into Rock Band. You can find many renditions of YouTubers recoding the song. I like the next version because you can actually read the lyrics.

However I think the best thing about the rock band version is that Jonathan Coulton, with other musical guest, actually play the game on stage. They use a big screen behind them so the crowd can watch their progress. They do only end up getting 99% which cause laughter in the crowd when ever anyone made a mistake.

I think there is something up with this melody too. I wonder if some of his songs have subliminal messages to make me want to replay some over and over? He was a computer programmer. He may have been able to write a program that creates primordial melodies. Naw...

Coulton is doing all right financially, so I guess his Thing a Week project was a success. In an interview in February of 2008 He stated he made more in 2007 than his last year as a programmer. Plus he is doing what he wants to do. Pretty good for a computer geek who followed his dream.

Here are a few other of my favorite JoCo songs:

Best Cover Ever

Your Brains. A song about zombies! COME ON! you gotta love this.

I feel Fantastic With the way they come up with ailments and pills to solve those ailments this could very easily be the future.

Now If this guy can create a song a week I can at least post here at least once a week. I'm not talking about a little hey I'm a live but busy post either. I've started other blogs in the past but I have never stuck with it. This one I'm gonna keep up with. Right now it's not that hard to keep up, being out of work and all. But when I start working again I hope I don't let this slide. Hopefully by then it will be part of my daily ritual.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Zombies Part 2

On Wednesday I posted about the Zombie signs in Austin Texas. After some more searchings of the interwebs I found some local news coverage on They even have a video of the coverage. It's small though and thankfully some YouTubers have posted it. Here is one of them. It's really a must watch.

I know it's illegal but I give these guys props on a hack well done.

My original very short blurb from Wednesday is here.

Review: Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals

You have some bad news to tell someone? Why not say it with cute baby animal? Written by Amanda McCall, and Ben Schwartz, and taking the Internet meme of cute pictures of baby animals, adding them to postcards and adding text denoting bad news.

Now I'm not sure if this is pure genius that McCall and Schwatz are taking advantage of what is popular on the net and bringing it to a different media or it's disturbing that they are using cute pictures of baby animals to communicate bad news. It would not be so bad if they were just giving uncomfortable news like telling a coworker that they have bad breath.

(This is not from the book. Only used as an example)

Instead there are some telling your kids that there is no college money because mom blew it all on drugs, or "Daddy's never coming home". These two are horrible. I find nothing cute or charming on these two subjects. These are just mean and are probably something that a just divorced couple would send to there older kids as a way to get back at the other parent. That's not cute it's cold hearted, evil and mean spirited, even if it's punctuated by a cute picture of a baby animal.

There are others like "You don't matter!" or "I'm banging your wife." The first is almost as mean spirited as the last two and I hope the second is sent anonymously. Hell there is one that says "Your baby is ugly". I can see where these would be funny in one situation but mostly they are just rude and hurtful. If your well adjusted I suggest sticking to the Internet for baby animal pictures and leave this book alone.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


How about a little blast from the past.

Good ol' Waldorf and Staatler

I'm saddened that this wasn't Beaker doing MeepMeep Meep meep meep but this remix video is still win.

To make up for that, CLASSIC Beaker singing Ode to Joy

Who doesn't like Kokomo?

You know for what it was the Muppets always delivered with good sets, varied puppets, and made great memories.

The Swedish Chef ROCKS!

Hmmm And lets throw in the season 1 opening for good measure.

If you would like to see the differences in each season check out Chanchickurin's YouTube channel.

As a kid I couldn't wait for new episodes to come on. Even in repeats they're still pretty good. And if you still want more YouTube is full of Muppet goodness. Danny Boy, REM's Furry Happy Monsters, The Star Wars Opening, Can you ever really get enough of the Swedish Chef? When My kids were a bit younger we drove my wife crazy as we all had THIS song stuck in our heads. Those were the good ol' days.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Zombies sighted in Austin Texas!

HA!!!! Hackers in Austin Texas have hacked a portable roadside sign to warn of zombies.

This picture is so SHINNY!!!

Some of these portable signs can be changed easily due to the control panel being easily accessible, but be warned in Austin there is a $15,000 fine if convicted.

The full story can be found here.


What is Flirting? Merriam-Webster defines it like this.
intransitive verb
1: to move erratically : flit

2 a: to behave amorously without serious intent
b: to show superficial or casual interest or liking, IE flirted with the idea

3: to come close to reaching or experiencing something —IE, flirting with disaster, the temperature flirted with 100°, , a novelist flirting with poetry

Hmmm I think 2a sums up my definition. I'm a terrible flirt. A tease.
Being away from home a lot due to the military left me feeling extremely horny. I could deal with the weekend gigs but sometimes I'd be away from home for weeks while I was on active duty.

Now being married in my early 20 I was getting some everyday. Usually more than once. Then just having to stop cold turkey? Frustration doesn't even come close. I could have went the route of seeking alone time like some of the guys did, but smelling like Jergans and baby wipes did not appeal to me. Instead I started using humor and exaggerated flirtation to fill in the sexual void. I have always been a good judge of character so I knew who I could tease. I have never been written up, never had charges brought against me, never been told stop. I also have never cheated on my wife. Not a kiss, a touch, nor cyber date.

I'm not talking about a wink as someones turning away flirting either. I'm talking lingering leers, lewd comments, and perverted gestures. I do know where to draw the line. I have never touched anyone in an inappropriate manner. I accent remarks with a grin. I make suggestions with a laugh. My complements are always balanced by a bazaar comparison.
What? You want an example? Fine How about:
ME: Your Ass is fine like a Good year blimp.
Then when they look like there gonna scratch my eyes out for saying they have a big ol booty I act suprised and say
ME: What?...I Like blimps. Then grin evily.

IT works. By the end of my first Iraq Deployment all the females were as comfortable with me around as with each other. They new I was "safe". The fun part was that most would flirt back, extravagantly. So I know it's not just me you ladies can be just as crude, pervy, and downright nasty as us guys. They sometimes ran ME out of the room.

Now I don't do this so much in the civilian sector but it has become part of my character, and some does bleed through. This ends up in my writing more than anything. I do reread and edit a lot of it out. People who don't know me may not understand, and who really knows anyone on here unless your close outside of the internet.

I've always been a flirt but like so many things the military helped me hone it to an unprecedented level. Help, I'm sure my humorous flirting is what really attracted my wife, and still keeps her putting out on a regular basis.